The Spanish strawberry crop has been seriously affected by unexpected wet weather, causing prices to rise. Canners who had been advising UK buyers to hold off placing new season contracts now find themselves having to withdraw all offers as growers struggle to meet the fresh demand before selling to canners at lower prices. Traditionally, the growers have overcapacity for the fresh market and willingly sell to the processors at a hefty discount, thus the development of canning in Spain over the last few years. Turkey, which also has a canned strawberry business, has been short of product, forcing buyers who depend on it to source from Spain. Sources in Murcia told the Grocer: "We have been wrongfooted and there could easily be a shortage of canned product this year." UK importers, however, were more restrained, pointing out that production goes on into June, so the position could be eased. The weather is returning to normal, allowing harvesting of the crop. l Greece and Turkey are warning of a 10% cut in apricot production this year, again due to the wet weather. South Africa is sold out so prices are expected to rise against last year's levels. {{CANNED GOODS }}